More than 55,000 properties in Sydney and the Central Coast remain without power after thunderstorms savaged the NSW east coast.
Torrential rain, damaging wind and hailstones the size of golf balls lashed Sydney and the Hunter region on Saturday afternoon bringing down trees and taking out hundreds of power lines.
Sydney’s north was hardest hit with areas of the Campbelltown area and the southern part of the Central Coast also damaged.
This is the worst storm I’ve seen in Sydney. It’s punched holes through my dads guttering, the lights are flickering, we taped the windows so they didn’t shatter and I’m scared to check my car which is parked outside ☹️ #SydneyStorm #sydney #sydneyweather pic.twitter.com/aU90wL5B4p
— Brooke🌻 (@raeraebrooke666) December 15, 2018
The SES said they’d received close to 7000 calls for help, mainly for fallen trees and roof damage.
Emergency services are expecting these calls for help to continue for the next 24 hours as they brace for more severe thunderstorms that are forecast over the next 48 hours.
Network operators Endeavour Energy and Ausgrid said more than 750 electrical hazards needed to be repaired before supply could be restored to 56,000 homes.
“This was a devastating storm that caused extensive damage to the electricity network,” Endeavour Energy spokesman Peter Payne said on Sunday in a statement.
“Many of our customers in the worst affected areas would not have seen damage like this for years.”
Mr Payne urged those who are without power to think of elderly neighbours and to see if any needed help coping with the power outages.
— Peter Elder (@pelder90) December 13, 2018
Ausgrid’s Jonathan Hall said repairs could take a while.
“Unfortunately, it’s taking time because that does involve in some places putting in new power poles and new power lines and unfortunately that type of repair takes some time.”
Lightning struck a train line at Granville, bringing services to the city’s west to a halt for hours.
Emergency crews worked through the night to restore power and clear debris and the operation is expected to continue into Sunday morning.
Sunday’s weather is expected to remain overcast with a high chance of further showers.